New Age: The Dawn of the Mature Model

Now this is a fashion movement that I can really get behind. Less than 24 hours after literary legend Joan Didion, age 81, was named the new face of Céline, Saint Laurent tweeted that its new campaign would feature 71 year old iconic songbird Joni Mitchell as the new face of their brand.  Mature models are having a moment and I like it.

It would be fantastic for the fashion business to embrace the reality that beauty, and customers for that matter, comes in all age categories. Gray hair, lines and lengthy amounts of time in the business of fashion and of life are just part of the appeal of the mature model. From the likes of 59-year-old Iman to 84-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice, these older models depict not only the embracing of aging but of having brains behind the beauty. The women are not role models only for their longevity, but also the reason behind it—strength, smarts and the ability to exceed in more than a singular thing.

As for Joan Didion, this is not her first modeling gig--she was featured in Gap ads in the 1980's. Since she has been a long time wearer of Céline the campagin is a true depiction of her style, yet it is her appeal as a writer and an intellect that draws us to her. Could one be a bold thinker, a brilliant mind and still appreciate the beauty of finely made clothing? Of course.

Before Joni Mitchell, Saint Laurent has featured musicians such as Courtney Love, Marianne Faithful, Daft Punk and Marilyn Manson in their ongoing Music Project ad campaign. Given the 1970’s vibe for their Spring 2015 Collection, Mitchell is the perfect fit for the label latest project.  Photographed by Heidi Slimane, she wears a wide-brimmed fedora and a tunic, both from Yves Saint Laurent, as well as a leather cape that Slimane made for her.

Using these literary and music icons celebrates the brilliance of originality in all its forms, may that be fashion, art, music, literature. These latest collaborations acknowledge that beauty can and should be shown in all its human glory.

Photo credit: Heidi Slimane for Saint Laurent